Endangered Roloway monkey born in French zoo

August 2, 2012
Owabi (Rright, a two-week-old monkey cub of the Cercopithecus roloway family is pictured with its mother, Nyaga, at the zoo in Mulhouse, eastern France. An exceptionally rare Roloway monkey has been born at a zoo in eastern France that is striving to preserve one of the most endangered primate species on the planet.

An exceptionally rare Roloway monkey has been born at a zoo in eastern France that is striving to preserve one of the most endangered primate species on the planet.

The baby was born at Mulhouse Zoo, which is coordinating the European Endangered Species Programme to save the Roloway monkeys, native to a small area of eastern and the forests of Ghana.

The two-week-old baby has been named Owabi after a wildlife sanctuary in western Ghana.

There are fewer than 200 Roloway monkeys remaining in the wild and only 27 in captivity, Mulhouse Zoo veterinarian Benoit Quintard said.

"The Cercopithecus Roloway is a very ," he said. "Births of this species are very rare in zoos."

Roloway monkeys are between 44 and 57 centimetres (17 and 22 inches) long, with tails that can reach lengths of 86 centimetres (34 inches), and on average weigh about five kilogrammes (11 pounds).

Predominantly black, with white areas at the throat and the interior side of the arms, Roloway are distinguished by their pointed white beards.

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